Individuals of all economic strata are shedding their jobs, hometowns, and lifestyle to embrace a wider experience and a more meaningful existence.
Tasha de Vasconcelos, is a drop dead gorgeous Mozambique-born Canadian model, actress, and humanitarian born in Beira, Mozambique. Her family was forced to flee from two revolutions: the first was in Mozambique when she was 8-years-old, and then a second when she was 14 years of age from Rhodesia. She and her family, made up of Portuguese ancestry on her father's side and British on her mother's side, moved to Canada in 1980, where de Vasconcelos studied International Relations at the University of British Columbia. Her European background is very evident in her multilingual abilities as well as her capacity to interact with different cultures. In 1998 Tasha graduated in International Strategy at the Centre for Diplomatic and Strategic Studies in Paris. At the age of 19, de Vasconcelos was discovered by a scout from Elite Model Management which initiated her modeling career. A highly successful career as an international model was established when New York photographer Steven Meisel shot Tasha for her first Vogue cover. She started in New York City and adopted the name Tasha on the suggestion of her agent. She worked for many different brands, including Dolce & Gabbana and Van Cleef & Arpels, and most notably for Dior and Yves Saint Laurent. Her acting debut was with a part in French movie Riches, belles, etc. in 1998 along with Claudia Cardinale, Marisa Berenson and Anouk Aimee. Tasha studied acting at the Cours Florent and the Central School of Speech and Drama. She went on to play the sexually liberated minx Lauren in the leading female role opposite Paul Kaye in the BBC comedy series Perfect World in 2000.
Then followed the remake of Murder on the Orient Express in 2001 for CBS Television with Tasha playing a Russian jewel thief opposite Alfred Molina. Her next UK appearances were in "Largo Winch" in 2001 as a feisty independent writer and love interest of Paolo Seganti and in Relic Hunter in 1999, when she played the part of a warrior princess. Both launched in the US, with Largo Winch also distributed in Europe. In 2002 Tasha filmed the independent feature film Dot the I (2003) acting alongside 'Gael Garcia Bernal' which was well received at Sundance Film Festival 2003. Tasha performed alongside Judi Dench and Gillian Anderson at "An Enchanted Evening" at London's Theatre Royal, a gala performance of the music of Richard Rodgers in aid of the Neurofibromatosis Association. April 2003 saw Tasha's first major feature film release in the spoof Bond movie Johnny English directed by Peter Howitt and starring Rowan Atkinson, Natalie Imbruglia and John Malkovich. Tasha plays the manipulative villainess Contessa Alexandra in the film's opening scene opposite Rowan Atkinson, Tasha takes on the femme fatale mantle of actresses such as Sophie Marceau and Grace Jones in the original Bond films. The same year, she appeared in Fatal Attraction and Dot the I. She appeared in the made for television film Une Suite Pour Deux, aired in September 2008 by French channel TF1. She also acted in the play Camino Real written by Tennessee Williams, at the Tristan Bates Theatre in London. Among her sporting skills, Tasha is an outstanding horsewoman and pentathlon competitor. The year 2010 saw the publication of her autobiography, Beauty as a weapon and she was also the subject of adocumentary La Belle Humanitaire devoted to her and her work.
Aside from acting her other great passion is helping underprivileged children, supporting charities such as the Nelson Mandela Children's Fund and the Association for Drug-addicted Children in Portugal. She is a goodwill representative for UNICEF to Bolivia for malnourished children and to Algeria for war-ravaged children. Tasha is also the goodwill ambassador appointed by Bolivia's first lady for the "Children of Pailaviri" project. It was during uring the 1990s that de Vasconcelos began serious humanitarian work. She attended missions with UNICEF in Bolivia, Algeria, and went to Mozambique with UNAids. In 1996 she collaborated with Nelson Mandela Children's Fund. She was given a humanitarian honor by UNESCO in 2005. In march 2006, she founded AMOR (Aide Mondiale Orphelins Réconfort), a foundation to reduce the rate of maternal mortality in Kasese, Malawi, and the transmission of AIDS from mother to child. In 2009, the maternity hospital was opened. AMOR was first supported by American actor Paul Newman and Prince Albert II de Monaco. De Vasconcelos was nominated as the first and only ambassador to Institut Pasteur in april 2009, and the following year on March, the 8th, was appointed by president José Manuel Barroso to be Ambassador of the European Union to Combat Poverty and Social Exclusion. In november 2010, Tasha made a speech at the Women's Forum Deauville. In March 2011 at the International Women's Day in Paris, as well as on June 23rd, 2012 at Villepinte, Vasconcelos made speeches in favor of the Achraf Refugees.
In Africa, the continent whose distress stands at greatest contrast with the world of fashion, Tasha, a former supermodel and the current face of Nivea, opened a maternity ward in Kasese, Malawi, in April of this year with the support of Louis Vuitton.
“Maybe it wasn’t so in fashion to be thinking about these causes before, but it’s almost been forced,” she said. “We’re in a different era now. Since the fall of Lehman Brothers, we are responsible to partnerships, to giving and to sharing with others”
She is familiar with poverty and civil war. As the daughter of a Portuguese father and an English mother, she was eight years old when Portugal pulled out of its former colony and civil unrest erupted. The family fled to Zimbabwe, then after Ms. de Vasconcelos’s grandfather was killed by guerillas, they left for Canada, arriving in 1980 when she was 13 years old. As her celebrity status grew, so did her desire to give something back to the troubled continent of her birth. On the 29th of April 2009 Tasha de Vasconcelos was named as the official Ambassador of the Institut Pasteur – a first for this renowned international leader in medical research.
"I take on this mission with much humility," she said on the day of her nomination, "I appreciate particularly the humanitarian aims of the Institut Pasteur, whose work has the sole aim of improving the health of human beings."
The mission of AMOR is to see significant reductions in global infant and maternal mortality rates, through working both with trusted local agencies and international partners. In achieving this AMOR has two particular goals: to provide medical services to mothers at risk, and appropriate care for orphans across the world. Please assist Tasha de Vasconcelos in accomplishing this by making a DONATION.
A hidden hunger is limiting the potential of millions of children around the world. Caused by a lack of essential vitamins and minerals, iron-deficiency anemia can impair physical and mental development, weaken the immune system and increase child mortality before the age of five. The Heinz Micronutrient Campaign is dedicated to preventing this hidden hunger. Through partnerships with governments and NGOs it is providing innovative, cost-effective solutions to give children the opportunity to lead healthy, productive lives.
Yabanci is a book by a Dutch woman who moved from Holland to Turkey to start a new life in a Turkish village overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. A great read for those who are considering a move abroad or have lived in a different culture. Available in English as an ebook or in Dutch in both print and popular ebook formats...
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